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Hollywood, California

Hollywood Sign

Today was the day. The day I got to meet and hug Kelly Clarkson! This woman has been someone I have admired since I first heard her sing on idol, but I truly connected with her when she sang "Think Twice" by Celine Dion in the semifinals of American Idol. The song got mediocre reviews from the judges, but they all agreed (me included) that Kelly killed it! The song, Think Twice, was from the album The Colour of My Love from 1993 and was one of my all time favorite albums. It immediately took me back to listening and belting out this album on repeat as a child. I continued to love Kelly's music and at one point I even had her song "Never Again" as my alarm, but I could never seem to afford to go to any of her concerts. The closest I came was when I was a server and she sang at the Allegan County Fair. Tickets were $60 a piece and as much as I wanted to go, living paycheck to paycheck, it just didn't seem worth it. Cut to Valentine's Day 2019, my friend got tickets to Kelly's Meaning of Life tour through vet tics and invited me along. Not only did we get super cheap tickets, they ended up being ON THE FLOOR. I was literally standing less than 50 feet from Kelly Clarkson. It was one of the most amazing experiences and I even snapped a few cool pics, including one when she had accidentally broke her in-ear mic pack by jumping to "Since U Been Gone".

Kelly after breaking mic pack.

After the concert, it really invigorated my love for her again and I started watching absolutely everything she did. All of the "Minute and a Glass of Wine" segments on YouTube, the BBMA's, any little interview I could find. And then, I got the best news. Kelly Clarkson was getting a talk show. It was like life said, "Here, have your daily dose of a good cry and then laugh your ass off in less than one hour 5 days a week!"

Kelly Clarkson Show

I instantly loved it, not only did she seem to be the most genuine person herself, but she shines a spotlight on others who are amazing people as well. I decided pretty early on that I was going to try and do everything in my power to get on that show. I sent in all the requests I could think of on the shows website and even received a call back from a producer at one point. In talks with the producer, I was told if I could get tickets to the show, then there was a possibility I could do the "Kellyoke" song request. I started looking at dates and applying for as many shows as I could within my time constraints. Since The Voice was on as well, I thought I should try to get both shows in one trip. I mean why not right? It turns out applying for tickets to these shows is an agonizing waiting process and especially flying in from Michigan everything had to be done last minute. I ended up getting "priority" tickets to The Voice on 11/12 and "priority" tickets to The Kelly Clarkson Show on 11/14. Priority meant that I was guaranteed entry, so I knew this was my chance. I called up my friend, who had no prior knowledge I was doing this, and said "Hey, want to go to California with me to see The Voice and The Kelly Clarkson Show?" She said YES! We booked our flights and hotels with only 4 days left to wait until our trip.

image of LAX

Our first flight had an overnight layover, so we got a hotel in Denver and headed back the next morning to our flight that would land us in L.A. just over 3 hours before we had to be at The Voice for our taping. We got our seats and found out we were separated on this flight, but figured it would be fine. We board the plane and we are a few rows apart, separated by a huge family flying back home from a funeral. One of the dads offered me the aisle seat, so he could help with the kids. I accepted and started telling him I had 3 kids of my own and totally understand what they are going through. I showed him pictures of my kids and chatted about why they were flying. He then asked me what we were doing in L.A., and I said going to see The Voice and The Kelly Clarkson Show. He chuckled and said no kidding, my buddy works on both of those shows! He asked for my name and proceeded to text his friend, you will never guess who this "friend" turned out to be!

road to hollywood image

We didn't get to talk much more, because my friend and I were able to switch seats together so that they could balance the plane. I told him thanks and that it was nice to meet them and went to sit in my new seat. We landed at LAX with 3 hours to spare. We were actually early enough to be able to go and get settled in our hotel before heading to Universal Studios for The Voice taping. After getting our things situated, we walked the two blocks over to Universal Studios. We waited on the tram to take us up the hill to City Walk. When we arrived, we put all of our stuff in lockers since you could not take cell phones with you into the taping. We started our trek down to the line to get into The Voice. The line was already getting long when we arrived. We waited in line for about 30 minutes before they started letting us into the waiting area. After getting to the waiting area, we had close to an hour before we would be taken down to the lot. There were two food trucks where we were waiting, I decided to grab some food. It took quite a while to get the food and we had to stuff it in fast because they had started loading people into trams to take them down to the lot.

The Voice back lot

When we arrived, we were crammed into an area on the back lot with about a thousand other people. Everyone was semi organized by the color of the wristband and every once in awhile someone would come by and tell certain colors they could head forward and go in. We kept waiting until we were the only ones left on the lot. We were very concerned and couldn't figure out why we weren't going in. Then, people started coming with signs of the artists that are on the show. They were calling out names of the artists and asking who was a fan of that person. The first one that I heard, I jumped at. I got to hold the sign for Kyndal Inskeep, who unfortunately got voted off that night. But, my friend got to hold the sign for Rose Short who made it to the finale and came in 4th place! The artists came out on the lot and we got to do some short interviews for the fan night show that would be airing 2 weeks from that night and meet a lot of them. It was an awesome experience! I even got to see the person that ended up winning, Jake Hoot from Team Kelly! After about 30 minutes of talking to the artists, we were filed into the studio. We were actually in the last group to get seats. They had to look around to be able to find places to fit all of us. They took my friend and I in and sat us on the front row, there was a big black wall behind where the judges sat. If we sat down, it was hard to see over the wall. They told us it shouldn't matter that we would be standing most of the time. At that point, I really didn't care, because we were sitting 15 ft away, right behind Kelly Clarkson! It was time for the show to start!

us on tv on The Voice
Us on TV!

This was a result show and they cut the artists down to the bottom three to find out who would be singing for a chance to be saved. The bottom three were Alex Guthrie, Kyndal Inskeep, and Hello Sunday. After the results, they cut to commercial break and the guy that warms up the audience came out towards the stage and said "Is there a Brittney Postma here?" My mouth dropped and then I started screaming and waving my arms until he saw where I was located and said "Alright, we will be with you in a few moments." I had no idea what that meant I started freaking out. I looked at my friend in utter shock. Kyndal was first to come out and sing and then Alex went up on stage. About halfway through his song, someone came over and introduced themselves to me. It was Chris Hines, the stage manager for The Voice and The Kelly Clarkson show. This was the friend of the guy I sat by on the airplane! I was floored! We talked for a few minutes about how much of a coincidence it was that I sat by him and exchanged introductions until someone messed up who they were supposed to cut to on the camera and he had to go do his job. He was very nice and I thought that was the end of it. Little did I know what was to come! The last ones to perform were Hello Sunday from Team Kelly. They sang All By Myself by Celine Dion, one of my all time songs from one of my favorite albums, and absolutely nailed it! They were the ones to get saved and I screamed so much that night, that I barely had a voice left the next day. After the show we exited the studio and waited on the trams in a back lot. We saw Gwen and Blake leave together and then we saw Kelly leave in the back of an SUV.

pineapple habanero margarita with popsicle in it

We loaded onto the trams that took us back up to City Walk. At this point we were starving and decided to grab some food and walk around a bit. We stopped at Antijitos, a Mexican restaurant, with amazing food and the best pineapple habanero margarita I've ever had. It came with a full popsicle inside of the margarita!

The next day we had the entire day to kill. We wanted to do the tourist thing, we got subway passes and took it down to Hollywood Boulevard. We walked around for a while looking at stars, the Chinese Theater, and I saw a red carpet getting set up for that evening. We checked out Hollywood and Highland center and grabbed a cupcake from the Sprinkles vending machine.

Sprinkles cupcake vending machine at Hollywood and Highland

sitting in a replica of the throne from game of thrones hollywood walk of fameGrauman's Chinese Theater
Sandra Bullock's star Celine Dion's starDanielle Radcliff's star
Hollywood and Highland intersection prints at Grauman's Chinese TheaterHollywood and Vine Intersection

We really wanted to go up to Griffith Observatory and to see the Hollywood sign, so we grabbed a Lyft to get up there. The Griffith Observatory was really cool and had a lot of displays about our solar system, the sun, and the Earth. They also had a live Tesla coil that they displayed while we were there, that was awesome! We spent a couple of hours walking around, some pictures and walked down the hiking trail to see the views of LA below.

Griffith Observatory tesla coildeer

me with the Hollywood sign

We grabbed a ride and headed back to our hotel to get a bite to eat and fuel up. We spent the remainder of the day riding the subway, walking around Union Station downtown LA, came back to Hollywood and Highland for dinner, and then headed back to the hotel for the evening. Tomorrow was the big day!

I could barely sleep and was up really early thinking about all the possibilities that could happen. We got ready and walked over to Universal Studios. Luckily, we were able to take our cell phones into The Kelly Clarkson Show, so I was able to get pictures! We arrived about 30 minutes early and there were only 6 people in line ahead of us. As we went through the metal detectors they gave us our wristbands and a lanyard with a Kelly Clarkson song on it.

Kelly Clarkson show wristbandKelly Clarkson show lanyard

I guess they use these to sort the crowd. We were ushered over to the same waiting area where we were for The Voice and waited until it was time to go down to the show. We sat for awhile and listened to the rules, answered trivia questions, and chatted with other fans. Finally, the time came to go down to the studio. They loaded us onto trams again and drove us down to the front studio lot.

Kelly Clarkson show studio

We waited outside on the sidewalk for a bit. They told us that we wouldn't be going by the sunflower wall as it had caused problems loading in because everyone wanted pictures in front of it, so only got to see it through the doors. Eventually they let us into the yarn room. Luckily, I jumped up there and my friend grabbed a picture of me, I was the only one that had time to.

sunflower wall Kelly Clarkson Show me at the yarn wallyarn bomb Kelly Clarkson Show

We were ushered to our seats on the second row of the back left hand side of the studio. We weren't sitting very long before they asked our group of the audience to come down to the stage. They arranged us around the band and told us Kelly would be singing from there and that we would be clapping and dancing with her!!! Only a minute later, Kelly walked out to the microphone! She sang Hella Good by No Doubt. She started out behind the microphone and towards the end of the song walked out into the middle of us and stood about two feet from me! During the commercial break, we took our seats again and the show began. Howie Mandel was the guess that day.

our group in the audience

The show was getting close to over when again the guy that warms the audience up came out onto the stage and asked "Is there a Brittney Postma here?" Again, I freaked out, waved my arms, and said "Right here!" They said they would be with me shortly. Kelly came out towards the end of the show to do "What I'm Liking Segment" and started to walk over towards us looking around. Chris was standing next to her trying to point me out and I started waving back. As soon as she saw me, she said "There you are, they were trying to point you out to me and I couldn't see you!" She came over and gave me a hug and chatted with me for a minute about going to The Voice and I said Hello Sunday was phenomenal. She concurred that they were incredible and had to go back to her segment. I know I stumbled over all of my words and I still sounded sick from screaming so much at The Voice. I swear she took a step back away from me when she first heard me talk, which I don't blame her for at all. Her voice is her livelihood! After the show, Chris came over to talk to us again and said he wanted to get a couple of pictures for me. He brought me over to the side where the neon Kelly Clarkson Show sign was in the background and took a picture of just me and then one of him and I to send to his friend. We later connected on Instagram and he gave me both pictures!

Chris Hines and me
me at the Kelly Clarkson Show

That was the end of our trip to California, we spent the rest of the day walking around City Walk and headed to the airport for our red eye back to Michigan. As short as it was, this was seriously the trip of a lifetime. The kindness of a stranger on a plane, helped me to meet my idol! This goes to show always be nice and pass on whatever you can, you never know how its going to effect someone!

me on kcsme on kcs

Our episode aired in mid January. I only caught myself on TV once for the whole episode, but it was totally worth it and not everyone gets to stand that close to Kelly! I would definitely make the trip out again in a heartbeat!